Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Lilibet is hot

A short piece of mine in today's Guardian on the new style icon, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II:

Decades of viewing Her Majesty in canary-coloured sacks, matching handbags and two-inch heels, with her hair unchanged since her youthful profile on the stamps, we forget that once she was, if not a trendsetter, nonetheless wearing the newest styles by the hottest, albeit British, designers. In the 60s even she wore a miniskirt, demonstrating the more iron strictures of style 40 years ago, when designers dictated hemlines.

But Elizabeth II, unlike her predecessor, Elizabeth I, who appears in her portraits immolated behind ruffs and pearl-encrusted bodices, has had to wait until old age to be declared a fashion icon.

It was Vogue who started it, when, two years ago, it declared her one of Britain's most glamorous women. She was photographed by Annie Leibovitz, who only does true celebrity. Now the launch issue of Katie Grand's long-awaited style magazine Love, focusing on the fashion icons of our generation, has a naked Beth Ditto on the cover and inside, model Agyness Deyn in ice blue satin Lanvin gown, white lace gloves and tiara, dressed as the Queen. And, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth, an exhibition of six decades of royal couture goes on display at Buckingham Palace in July so we can glimpse how her taste has altered, or not, throughout and even before her reign.

Love magazine's Deyn photo is a weird combination of HRH and Marilyn Monroe. Spookily, Monroe, had she lived, would be the same age as the Queen: the two women were born only two months apart and both came into their own in an age of postwar glamour. Even their figures - the large bust and small waist - are similar.